Competitive archery at paper targets was fun, yet the real excitement when realistic targets at varying distances came into focus. If you’re a competitive 3-D tournament archer, you know the benefit of shooting at lifelike targets up steep banks or between tree trunks – not to mention competing outside in wind and other conditions that challenge accuracy.For the avid hunter, 3-D targets allow you to simulate the types of hunting you do most often. If you’re a stand hunter, then you need a deck, ladder, or other type of elevated stand. When shooting from elevated stands, shooting form trumps accuracy, as Bill Jordan and I learned during Monster Buck VII. Each of us had a “duck soup” shot at 20 yards and missed, a shot we could have made 100 times in a row on level ground. I got excited, palmed the grip coming to draw, and shot over a “dead” deer.
Focusing arrow placement is greatly enhanced by 3-D targets. Models like the GlenDel Full Rut Buck have the vitals labeled on the target block so that you can see the result of each shot. On a broadside shot, aiming one third of the way up the front shoulder is ideal, yet the same spot won’t be lethal on an animal quartering away. Elk hunters in particular should practice on a 3-D target, since an arrow square on the shoulder is rarely lethal. Remember, the heart-pounding excitement you’ll feel during that moment of truth will make thinking about where to shoot nearly impossible. By using a realistic 3-D target, your aiming becomes instinctive.
Admittedly, some spouses won’t enjoy animal simulations in their yards. But 3-D targets have great appeal to youngsters! Next time a cranky child won’t smile for a picture, take the little one out to the 3-D target and watch their faces light up.
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